Essay on Human Rights

1277 Words Sep 8th, 2010 6 Pages
Legal essay
Human rights are protected under Australian law in three key ways; statute law, the constitution and common law. It could be argued that if Australia adopted a bill of rights, human rights would be more clearly defined, consistent in all states and territories and more easily understood.
Human rights are protected in Australia through statute law. Statute law refers to laws made by parliament, also known as legislation. Moreover statute laws set up administrative bodies whose responsibility it is to carry out the workings of these acts.Occasionally, judges are required to interpret legislation or make decisions about the application of statute law. These decisions will have binding impacts on human rights protection. Examples
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Some human rights in Australia are also protected by the constitution. Human rights covered by the constitution include; the right to vote (section 41, the right to just compensation for property acquired by the commonwealth (section 51), the right to trial by jury for serious offences (section 80), the right to freedom of movement (section 92) and the right to freedom of religion (section 116). The constitution is made more effective in protecting human rights because it can only be changed by the people. A referendum is required when a government puts a proposed bill to the voters, and the voters have to decide ‘yes’ or ‘no’. However, for amendments to be made to the commonwealth constitution a double majority is needed. That is a majority of ‘yes’ voters overall, as well as a majority of ‘yes’ voters in a majority of Australia’s states and territories. Therefore, evolving concepts of human rights cannot be easily accommodated by the constitution.

I think the constitution is very effective in protecting human rights because as the highest law in Australia, the Constitution specifically protects certain rights and freedoms, including trial by jury in specified circumstances, the free exercise of any religion, and just terms for acquisition of property. The Constitution also gives jurisdiction to the

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